AFRIKAN HISTORY MONTH
For this year’s Nubiart Diary Afrikan History Month there will be an exhibition, ‘Triumph of the Grassroots: British Social History 1972-2012’ at the Brunei Gallery in London in conjunction with the Brunei Gallery and the Vince Hines Foundation. The exhibition looks at the work and struggles of the Vince Hines Foundation, part of the Self-Help Movement in Britain. Since its founding in 1972 activities they have engaged in include: the promotion of the National Federation of Self-Help Movements, establishing the Afrika and Diaspora institute, running the Connexions youth service in the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, advice and support, community education, anti-knife and violent crime outreach, the African-Asian Solidarity Conference UK 1992, meals service, outdoor adventures, sports teams, day trips, and musical talent contests. A small selection from their archive will be on display here.
We’d like to thank all the people who have already visited the exhibition and are grateful for all the feedback. ‘Triumph of the Grassroots: British Social History 1972-2012’ runs until Sat 12 Dec on Tues-Sat at 10.30am-5pm (late night Thurs til 8pm) at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London, WC1H 0XG. Adm: Free. Tel: 020 7898 4046. Web: www.soas.ac.uk/gallery
Vince Hines Foundation – Tel: 030 3040 2690. Fax: 0870 974 8524. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: www.ubol.com Twitter: @Tri_Grassroots
DEVELOPING A CULTURAL RESOURCE STORE
My name is Elsa and I manage the affairs of Lewisham Ethnic Minority Partnership (LEMP), a charitable organisation based in Lewisham, SE London, that seeks to raise awareness of culture and heritage of African, Asian and Caribbean peoples. I also edit the publications of Back-home Assembly Support African-Caribbean Association (BASCA) and we have so far published anthologies of poems, writings and stories centred around the Caribbean. The books I have published so far are: ‘Caribbean Delights’, profiles of Caribbean women relating childhood experiences; ‘Caribbean Joys’, an anthology of poems; ‘Supremely Caribbean’, a collection of short stories; ‘CrissxCross across the Holy Land’, a biblical commentary of a visit to Israel; and ‘Caribbean Delights Revisited’, reprint of Caribbean Delights. I have copies that I take along where ever I happen to be presenting.
My purpose of starting up a Resource base for items of culture and heritage stems from a throwaway remark by a close associate that things her mother sent her was just there gathering dust and she was thinking of chucking them out. I thought ‘Hang on, surely we can make use of these objects by weaving their untold stories around them and opening them up to a wider audience’. We have just moved from an large open-plan office on Lewisham High Street to a box-like unit in a disused factory due to increased demand for dwindling funds. We have cleared a unit base in order to accommodate small, hard-wearing items around which we can develop our story-boards. To date it is an empty cupboard but we are hopeful that we will soon begin filling it up. I hope that answers your quest for further information.
Manager ~ LEMP ~ empowering communities ~ BME ‘voice’
174-176 Hither Green Lane, London, SE13 9DU
Telephone: 020 8697 1587
FORTHCOMING NUBIART PROFILE
NUBIART: Focus on arts, business, education, health, political developments and the media.
~ ‘SENEGAL 70 - SONIC GEMS & PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED RECORDINGS FROM THE 70’S’ – Various Artists [Analog Africa – Out Now] Analog Africa have hooked up with the Greek label Teranga Beat to bring us some great tracks from Senegal the 60s and 70s. The 12 tracks collected here span Funk, Mbalax, Cuban Son and Mandigue guitar sounds and even though big names such as Orchestra Baobab are here the actual tracks are truly rare sonic gems. The five previously unreleased tracks here - Orchestre G.M.I. - Groupement Mobil D’Intervention’s, ‘Africa’, Le Sourouba de Louga’s ‘Bour Siné’, Amara Touré et le Star Band de Dakar’s ‘El Carretero’ and Orchestre Ba(w)obab’s ‘Thiely’ and ‘Ma Penda’ - were digitised by Teranga Beat’s Adamantios Kafetzis from the 300 songs he discovered in Thiès. They had originally been recorded by sound engineer Moussa Diallo who had recorded bands that would perform in his club, the legendary Sangomar.
The other seven tracks come from Analog Africa’s Samy ben Redjeb’s own time in Senegal which included a stint as a nightclub DJ in-between the record hunting. Our favourite tracks were King N’gom et Les Parles Noires’ ‘Viva Marvillas’ and Le Tropical Jazz’s ‘Kiko Medina’, Afro-Cuban tracks which just hit the sweet spot but as usual with Analog Africa collections everything fascinates, excites and inspires. The comprehensive booklet that comes with the CD (44 pages) and with the double LP (12 pages LP size) is a precious document attesting to the decades of transformation that led to modern Senegalese music. Featuring biographies of music producers and a legendary record cover designer, as well as the life stories of all the groups represented here, the booklet also includes a fantastic selection of photos that have never seen before.
~ ‘DUB 4 DAZE’ - Dennis Bovell [Glitterbeat – Out Now] Heavyweight dubs from the dubmaster straight out of the ‘I Wah Dub’ stable. The album has only 10-tracks released exclusively on 180gm vinyl and packaged in a gatefold sleeve just like in the golden days of all those rockers and steppers dub albums. The tracks even have that old-skool scratchy analogue hiss that came with rinsing out the album non-stop and dropping the needle at your favourite bit over and over again. Dennis describes the material as “a collection of different dub mixes I found buried in my archive, and a few newly mixed cuts, done after re-exploring some earlier recorded material. I baked some 2” masters, transferred them to digital and mixed them using an analogue desk.”
Musically, many of the old team are there – Jah Bunny, John Kpiaye, Nick Straker, Aswad rhythm section, Michael ‘Bami’ Rose, Henry ‘Buttons’ Tenyue, Noel ‘Fish’ Salmon, Bevin Fagan and Webster Johnson with vocal duties from Brown Sugar, Errol Campbell and Blackbeard himself. That list alone reflects how important Dennis Bovell is in the history of roots reggae, lovers rock, post-punk, pop-funk, soul and ambient genres, everything that underpins today’s dance music, hip-hop, jungle, drum ‘n’ bass, dubstep and grime. To be honest virtually all the ‘new’ musical styles that have come out in the last three decades he was already there in the late 70s and early 80s as evidenced by his work for the Y, LKJ and On-U Sound labels and those records still stand the test of time. ‘Dub 4 Daze’ is another glorious addition to his archive.
Twitter: @Glitterbeat_Rec https://twitter.com/Glitterbeat_Rec
Twitter: @DubMaestro1 https://twitter.com/DubMaestro1
~ ‘AMBIENT 3: DAY OF RADIANCE’ - Laraaji [Glitterbeat Records – Out Now] A welcome re-release for one of the earliest albums in the series produced by Brian Eno to use the word ambient to describe the kind of mood, energy and ‘ambiance’ from collaborators who would on any other day be classed simply as rock, soul or jazz musicians. The five track album originally released in 1980 is basically two different tracks, ‘The Dance’ and ‘Meditation’ given extended and given different mixes to bring varying elements of the composition to the forefront. Laraaji plays all the various acoustic stringed instruments such as a hammered dulcimer and 36-stringed open-tuned zither recorded here. The sound is a mix of harmonic and rhythmic repetitions of American classical minimalism and styles from traditional societies. The music is truly gorgeous and spiritual – shimmering and contemplative. Brian Eno doesn’t get too over complex or chuck the whole sound effects palette in the mix so it is close to something that could be performed live and extended into additional movements.
Laaraji was a nomadic autoharpist busker whose pitch was in the grounds of New York City’s Washington Square Park. He was skilled on other instruments – flute, trombone, violin, piano, guitar -having gigged his way around the circuit and we learn from the sleevenotes he was also a stand-up comedian who played a bit part in the cult 60s movie ‘Putney Swope’ – a film not widely released on either side of the Atlantic because of its ‘revolutionary’ message of an Afrikan-American running an ad agency!!! Following the release of this album Laaraji delved deeper into projects that fused the ethereal qualities of his music with spiritual studies and teachings. Alongside his music he currently leads laughter meditation and yoga workshops. Describing the purpose of his music Laraaji said: “I see music as an environment providing thinking, feeling and imagination, an alternative space, container, within which to behave differently. In the case of music as medicine, such music allows for thinking, feeling and imagery to reconnect to a deeper sense of integration, union, oneness ...”
Twitter: @Glitterbeat_Rec https://twitter.com/Glitterbeat_Rec
NUBIART LIBRARY – DEC MEDIA
We will only review books we have read and DVDs we have seen and that are available at reasonable prices online or in shops or libraries. However, given the nature and current state of Afrikan publishing and film production there may be books and films on this list that are worth the extra effort to track down. We endorse Waterstone’s decision to stop selling e-readers in favour of a focus on physical books. It marks a return to the enjoyment, thrill and expectation that comes from an appreciation of the real deal.
~ ‘SUPREMELY CARIBBEAN’ – Elsa Pascal [BASCA Reminiscence. ISBN: 000-0-0000-0000-0]
~ ‘CARIBBEAN JOYS’ – Various. Edited by Elsa Pascal [BASCA Reminiscence. ISBN: 0-9547030-1-4]
“The Caribbean culture is extraordinarily unique and cannot be duplicated. Like the lands and islands of the region we have come full circle. Let us enjoy as we remember times past.” – Elsa Pascal, Caribbean Joys, p6
Two books from a series of oral remembrances by people who came from the Caribbean to Britain. Many worked in the public sector as nurses, porters, mechanics, bus drivers and conductors. ‘Caribbean Joys’ is a poetry collection while ‘Supremely Caribbean’ is Elsa Pascal’s prose writings and short stories with a hint of ‘biography’ that would be told under the savannah tree, I would think. Elsa is a trained educator from Dominica who runs reminiscence and poetry workshops. One early thing we gleaned from ‘Supremely Caribbean’ is that Dominica is one of the few places left with an active Carib community who maintain some traditions from before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and his genocidaires to the region. There are also Caribs on St Vincent and St Lucia and on Dominica there is a Carib Reserve at Salybia. Waitikubuli is the Amerindian Carib name for the island and Elsa counts them among her ancestry alongside her Afrikan heritage.
Her family come from Rosalie which was the second biggest slave plantation on the island and many of the people with specific surnames can trace themselves back to there. She mentions some of the campaigns such as 4H – Head, Heart, Hand and Health – and 3F – Food for Family Fitness. A tradition that continued into modern times was Coudmehn, when a day would be set aside for people from the area to do a day’s work building houses or planting gardens in exchange for food and drink.
Another strong element in the books is the role of women in community upliftment, health, economics and education and this is reflected with titles such as ‘An ode to the black woman’, ‘Caribbean Woman 1 – Identity’ and in ‘Caribbean Joys’ there are the suites ‘Motherland – Mitochondrial DNA I-IV’ and ‘Angelina’s Grandma I-IV’. Another side of this life experience are teenage pregnancy, miscarriage, relationship breakdown and finding love the second (or third or fourth) time around as in ‘Baby Bye-bye’. And not forgetting the joy of the first grandchild, ‘First Smiles’.
Tell me auction block
How best they tried to hide their naked shame
That human beings could stoop so low
Much lower than beasts at such times.
Tell me again
How best they tried to avoid prying eyes into their souls.
Weren’t there any bystanders with a common decency
Who felt these traumatised people should be afforded leniency?
Who felt that the callous barbarian treatment of another human being
Was so totally wrong?
Did anyone stop to offer a sip of water to quench a parched throat?
Does it not just remind you of the Mighty One, the Holy One?
If He could be so crucified on that cross
What worst fate was in store
For our poor dispossessed African forebears.
But out of atrocities come resilience
And we are a resilient lot
We often crack but do not break
And spring right back
To begin the cycle yet again
- ‘Caribbean Joys’, p17
One thing that shouldn’t be forgotten about the Caribbean islands is they are on the train winds that allowed kidnappers, murderers and thieves to transport their human cargo across the Atlantic and several of the articles look at the perpetrators and false beneficiaries of this Holocaust. Elsa and one of her groups took a trip to the Liverpool International Slavery Museum and learnt some of the history of the city’s rise through its links to this sordid business.
The Caribbean is also made up of several small islands that are at the mercy of the hurricane season that sweeps through for up to five months a year. They were not really lands that could sustain large populations and intensive year-round cultivation because of this. The Caribs lived a sustainable lifestyle similar to what you would find in many small islands states today who are challenging the big industrialised powers to adopt a production and consumption lifestyle pattern that will allow them to remain in their homelands with their culture intact.
We welcome feedback on any event you have attended that was listed in Nubiart Diary. It helps us with the selection of future listings and is also info we can pass on to the event organisers where appropriate.
~ STOLEN IMAGES - PEOPLE & POWER IN THE FILMS OF RAOUL PECK’. ‘Sometimes in April’ is considered by many to be the definitive drama about the genocide in Rwanda. Idris Elba stars as the Hutu caught between both sides as he tries to protect his Tutsi wife and their children. It’s a thrilling, sensitively observed drama and a highly articulate commentary on historical colonialism and the failure of the international community to prevent bloodshed. On Fri 11 Dec at 5.50pm at BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London, SE1. Tel: 020 7928 3232. Web: www.bfi.org.uk
~ BLACK HISTORY WALKS PRESENT ‘BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION’. On Sun 13 Dec at 6pm at Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Road, Finchley, London, NW2. Tel: 020 8444 6789. Web: www.phoenixcinema.co.uk
~ BRITISHBLACKMUSIC.COM/BLACK MUSIC CONGRESS PRESENTS
- ‘History Of Black History Month In Britain & Harrow’. On Mon 14 Dec at 6.30-8.30pm. With history consultant Kwaku www.bit.ly/HarMen
- ‘Youths’ Take On British History 50:70’. On Mon 21 Dec at 6.30-8.30pm. With Harrow BHM Group youth volunteers Antonio & Marcel Phillip www.bit.ly/HarM
All events at Harrow Mencap 1st floor, 3 Jardine House, Harrovian Business Village, Bessborough Road, Harrow, HA1 3EX. Adm: Free. E-mail: editor@BritishBlackMusic.com Web: www.BritishBlackMusic.com
~ I’NYASHA PROMOTIONS PRESENT ‘AFRIMANTIC: END OF YEAR AFRICAN-CARIBBEAN EXPLOSION!’ Afrimantic is a refreshing & unique party experience for ravers who appreciate a wide variety of Afrikan music. It’s all about the vibe, the music & the energy. So come, Let loose, meet someone new & dance! The prefect way to get your Kwanzaa / festive season started. It’s Afrimantic! DJs on the night will be: Natural Mystic; Sid Mercutio; and Phat Kontrolaz. On Sat 19 Dec at Kimos Wine Bar, 184 Stoke Newington High St, London, N16 7JD. Adm: Limited Edition Early Bird - £5 / Standard - £7 / £10 b4 12am / MOTD. Tel: 07534 001 376 / 07896 462 408 / 07889 281 809. Web: www.inyasha.shoobs.com
~ TIWANI CONTEMPORARY PRESENTS ‘FRANCISCO VIDAL: WORKSHOP MAIANGA MUTAMBA’. An exhibition of new works by Francisco Vidal and his first solo show in the UK. Workshop Maianga Mutamba is derived from Vidal’s practical working methodology, which considers the notion of the artist as a machine and the studio as a workshop, and advocates machine-based mass production as the means of creating a better world. The exhibition focusses on Vidal’s machete paintings, an ongoing series in which he paints vividly coloured cotton flowers directly onto metal machetes similar to those traditionally used to harvest cotton plants. The series refers to the Baixa de Cassanje, a 1961 uprising led by the agricultural workers of a Portuguese-Belgian cotton plantation in Malanje that was violently suppressed by the Portuguese authorities. The event, which started as a workers’ protest for better working conditions, is now considered the first battle of the Angolan War of Independence, and forms the core of Vidal’s reflection around political dissent and the spirit of social revolution. Francisco Vidal was born in Lisbon in 1978 and lives between Luanda and Lisbon. He is currently part of the official selection of the Angolan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale and has been selected, with e-studio Luanda, for the Art Dubai 2016 A.i.R. Dubai residency. Until Sat 19 Dec on Tues-Fri at 11am-6pm and Sat at 12-5pm at Tiwani Contemporary, 16 Little Portland Street, London. E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.tiwani.co.uk
~ ALKEBU-LAN REVIVALIST MOVEMENT ‘KWANZAA’. Alkebu-Lan will be staging their Kwanzaa again for the first time in 10 years. Kwanzaa is a Pan-Afrikan festive celebration of family, community, Culture, and achievements, observed by an estimated 50 million Afrikans worldwide. It is observed for seven days from the 26 Dec-1 Jan. The ethos of Kwanzaa is to inspire Afrikans to reclaim, rescue and reconstruct our Afrikan heritage, as our natural source of identity and direction towards our total liberation. Join in this Cultural Explosion to celebrate and manifest the very best of what it means to be an Afrikan! Performances by: Soul Force Panthers; Alkebulan Academy of Excellence (Saturday School); Maat Academy of Excellence Children; Raspect Fyabinghi; JJ Soulx; Souljah MC; Jo Ceasar; Curmiah Lisette; West Afrikan Dance Troop; and West Afrikan Griot (Story Teller). Music by Natural Mystic. Special Nguzo Saba awards for outstanding achievements in the Community! On Mon 28 Dec at 2-9pm at the Karibu Centre, 7 Gresham Road, Brixton, London, SW9 7PH. Tel: 020 8539 2154 / 07908 814 152. Web: www.alkebulan.org
~ RAS PRESENTS ‘AFRICA IN 2016: PROSPECTS & FORECASTS’. A panel of experts sheds light on the key issues facing the continent for the year ahead, from political and economic trends to burgeoning creative industries. On Wed 13 Jan at 6.30-8.30pm at Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG.
~ ‘AFRICAN THREADS, HACKNEY STYLE: 400 YEARS OF TEXTILES JOURNEYS FROM AFRICA TO HACKNEY’. This exhibition explores Hackney’s historic ties with Africa through fabric and fashion. Uncover their influence on the local area, from 17th century trade with West Afrika by Hackney merchants to the presence of Afrikan communities and textiles in Hackney today. Discover how textiles were produced in different regions of Afrika and the meaning behind some of their bold designs. The exhibition features stunning costumes, photographs and local people. At Hackney Museum, Technology And Learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, London, E8 1GQ.
~ ‘NO COLOUR BAR: BLACK BRITISH ART IN ACTION 1960-1990’. Exhibition of the archive of the Guyanese campaigners and publishers Eric and Jessica Huntley. Until Sun 24 Jan 2016 at Mon-Sat at 10am-5pm and Sun 12-4pm at Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, London, EC2V 5AE. Adm: Free. Tel: 020 7332 3700. Twitter: @NoColourBar Web: www.nocolourbar.london
‘West Africa - Mission from cape’
~ ‘WEST AFRICA: WORD, SYMBOL, SONG’. An exhibition of literature and music – from the great African empires of the Middle Ages to the cultural dynamism of West Africa today using beautiful manuscripts, sound, film and more, tracing the written and oral cultural history of West Africa for the past three centuries. Fascinating stories from the region’s 17 nations show how West Africans have harnessed the power of words to build societies, drive political movements, sustain religious belief and fight injustice. Hear the myth of the founding of ancient Mali in recorded performance. See the influence of religion through colourful fabric and the saddlebag Qur’an. Celebrate writers and artists including Africa’s first Nobel prize winner, Wole Soyinka, and internationally acclaimed musician and human rights activist Fela Kuti. At the PACCAR Gallery, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. Adm: £10 / Under-18s – Free / Concs available. Tel: +44 (0)1937 546 546. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.bl.uk/events/west-africa-word-symbol-song
~ THE BRUNEI GALLERY PRESENTS ‘SAND IN MY EYES, SUDANESE MOMENTS’. Photography & Oral Tradition from Sudan by Enikö Nagy. From 15 Jan-19 Mar on Tues-Sat at 10.30am-5pm (late night Thurs til 8pm) at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London, WC1H 0XG. Adm: Free. Tel: 020 7898 4046. Web: www.soas.ac.uk/gallery
~ JENGBA MEETINGS. JENGbA campaigners can deliver lectures to Law, Criminology, Media, Sociology, Youth Studies departments as well as school children. On the second Tues of every month at 7pm at Edward Woods Community Centre, London, W11 4TX. Tel: 07709 115793 / 07725 727520 (Media Enquiries). New office: Office A, Norland House, Queensdale Cresent, London, W11 4TL. E-mail: JointEnterpriseInfo@Gmail.com / JengbaMedia@Gmail.com
~ BUNDU DIA KONGO (BDK). African cultural and spiritual group, working towards the spiritual and psychological growth and development of Africans all over the world. Let us make a positive change now. Our story pre-dates Egypt and continues today. Come and learn about African prophets, African history and African spiritual practices at our weekly Zikua.
- Sun at 1.30–4.30pm at 108 Battersea High Street, London, SW11 3HPTel: Makaba - 07951 059 853. E-mail: email@example.com
- Sun at 12.30–3.15pm at Malika House, 81 George Street, Lozells, Birmingham, B19 1Sl. Tel: Mbuta Mayala – 07404 789 329.
~ THE AUSAR AUSET SOCIETY GI GONG CLASSES. Every Monday at 7.30–9pm at Hazel Road Community Centre, Hazel Road, Kensal Green, London, NW10 5PP. Adm: £5 per class. Tel: 07951- 252-427. E-mail: Tauinetwork.firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Kubara Zamani, Afrikan Quest International, PO Box 35165, London, SE5 8WU. Tel: 07811 494 969. E-mail: email@example.com NB: Nubiart Diary can also be read at www.ligali.org
Afrikan Quest International
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